With COVID-19 cases continuing to see spikes in many states across the U.S. right now, Warner Brothers has announced that they are once again delaying the theatrical release of Christopher Nolan’s Tenet. Earlier this month they had already been forced to push it from July 17th to July 31st but now they are moving it back to August 12th, unwilling to give up on the summer completely. The biggest factor seems to be the recent announcement that movie theatres will not be allowed to reopen in New York as part of Phase 4 of their reopening plan. The 10th Anniversary re-release of Inception has also been moved back to July 31st. A spokesperson for Warner Brothers delivered the following statement:
“Warner Bros. is committed to bringing Tenet to audiences in theaters, on the big screen, when exhibitors are ready and public health officials say it’s time. In this moment what we need to be is flexible, and we are not treating this as a traditional movie release. We are choosing to open the movie mid-week to allow audiences to discover the film in their own time, and we plan to play longer, over an extended play period far beyond the norm, to develop a very different yet successful release strategy.”
At this point, you have to wonder why the studio is so unwilling to pull this movie from the summer release schedule completely. The New York Times previously reported that Warner Brothers actually wants to do exactly that, but Christopher Nolan is the one who is willing to sacrifice box office numbers in order to help movie theatres recover from the pandemic. While that sounds noble, the whole thing is starting to come across as a bad miscalculation and might negatively impact Nolan’s reputation. Would you still be willing to see Tenet in August or should they just delay it further?